Offenders & Drug Courts

The need for criminal justice systems to be as capable of bringing about the required level of reforms on the part of the offenders is a justifiable one. However, it also ought to be made sustainable because it will be absolutely a waste of time and other resources for a lot to be invested in a system that is not capable of bringing about desired effects. It is on this basis that this research proposals aims to investigate the effectiveness of drug courts in bringing about the desired impacts on offender.

Given that drug use and abuse of a leading problem in this country, the approaches at resolving lit ought to be pragmatic but economically and socially sustainable. The proposal presents the secondary sources of data that will be used, and specifically outlines the research design and plan, including the research questions, hypotheses, sample sizes, methodology, and approach. The need to ensure that justice is granted to the deserving is a principle and policy which the criminal justice system in this country has lived by.

As such, there have been measures put in place to specifically ensure that the people who break the law are punished as the law provides but also given the chance to reform and lead normal lives. Law offences of all types are never really an offender’s deliberate will but rather something that comes about because of the influences from factors which are outside the individual’s control (Carey et al. , 2006). Typical example are drug related criminal offences which are committed largely because the victims are under the influence of drugs and cannot really be in a position to make sound and wise decisions.

They thus end up being punished for crimes and offences that they never really intended to commit. This has caused the problem of many pending cases in courts due to the increased number of law offender; and this has also caused overcrowding in prisons. That aside, cases of recidivism have kept rising as some people still find themselves committing the same crimes or different ones after they have served out their prison terms or when they are put on special programs like parole (The National Association of Drug Court Professionals Drug Court Standards Committee, 1997).

This has called for intervention to address the problems that are thought to be directly and indirectly responsible for causing this trend. A long time back, as back the 1980s, one of the possible interventions was the need to have courts that would specifically deal with offenders who committed minor drug offenses so as not only to punish them but also help them recover and get reintegrated into the community (Carey et al. , 2006).

This was because it was believed that mixing other offenders charged with graver offences with these minor offenders only made the latter’s problem worse. Starting from Miami-Dade County (Florida) in 1989 where the first drug court was set up to deal with such issues, the system has spread very fast to reach about 2,140 drug courts spread across the country’s fifty states. That aside, the system is being introduced in many other countries around the world such as the United Kingdom and Australia.

There has, however, emerged a debate as to the effectiveness of these drug courts in bringing about the desired level of change among the minor drug offender. Concerns have been raised that although a lot of state and federal government funds are being injected into this approach to criminal justice, the courts are not really changing anything (Freiberg, 2000). This research proposal seeks to establish the effectiveness of the drug courts.